Last updateThu, 27 Apr 2017 10am

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Control of Prisons Going to Private Companies (2)

A proposed contract in Virginia between the state and the nation's second-largest private prison operator, GEO Group and a company managing mental health institutes, Liberty Healthcare Corp., would give these private companies authority over convicted sex offenders enrolled in a controversial program known as "civil commitment". The state designates some inmates as sexually violent predators, that label gives the state the right to hold inmates indefinitely while administering mental health treatment. Virginia has advanced deliberations on this contract without official public input or legislative hearings even though both GEO Group and Liberty Healthcare Corp. have had incidents managing a similar facility in Florida. It should be noted according to state records that GEO Group was one of the largest single contributors to Republican Bob McDonnell. The GEO Group has also made smaller contributions to Virginia legislative leaders. In the past two years, a subsidiary, GEO Care has spent more than $13,000 on lobbying related to the sex offender facility. The intriguing part about the contract is the fact that these institutes will be able to profit by being the agencies that determin whether these inmates have been reformed or not. In other words they will be able to decide to keep people incarcerated indefinitely to keep the prison full.

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